Despite a recent earthquake in Mexico City, the global pipeline construction industry gathered in the recovering city for the International Pipe Line and Offshore Contractors Association’s (IPLOCA) 51st annual convention, Sept. 25-29.
The IPLOCA Convention is a unique gathering of the leading global players in the pipeline construction industry. It takes place over five days and registration is restricted to IPLOCA members, media partners and guests of the association.
This was the third IPLOCA convention to take place in Mexico. The previous two were held in Acapulco in 1994 and 1975. More than 520 participants registered to take part in this year’s event. Unfortunately, attendance was impacted by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Central Mexico on Sept. 19. The earthquake caused major damage in and around Mexico City and injured more than 6,000 people.
Having assessed the situation on-site, the decision was made to go ahead with the convention program with the strong conviction that by not cancelling, IPLOCA would show its solidarity to the Mexican people and contribute to the livelihood of the local suppliers and communities.
However, some delegates decided to cancel their attendance and, as a result, the number of participants was reduced. The Board and the Secretariat are appreciative of the fact that all the sponsors of the 2017 IPLOCA Convention honored their commitment to the event, and that the majority of registered delegates attended.
On Thursday and Friday, Sept. 28-29, during the Open General Meetings (OGMs), high profile speakers covered a wide variety of topics, including safety culture and risk management; large projects in Mexico; the use of PE pipes; the gas industry and the United Nations; the removal of large offshore platforms; and global energy trends. The opening speaker, historian Roberto Escartin, shared an historic view of Mexico City with a focus on water management.
Members attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) comprised of the President’s Year in Review, the Treasurer’s report on the status of IPLOCA’s accounts and the incoming President’s objectives for the year. Amendments to the By-laws were approved and the results of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors elections were also ratified.
During the OGMs, three industry awards were presented: the IPLOCA Health & Safety Award sponsored by Chevron, the IPLOCA Corporate Social Responsibility Award sponsored by Total and the IPLOCA New Technologies Award sponsored by BP. The 2017 IPLOCA Scholarship Program recipients were also announced.
The tour was carried out as programmed and focused on the long, deep history and culture of the region. Visits took place to Teotihuacan, the City of the Gods and its impressive Pyramid of the Sun; to the Chapultepec Castle, housing the National History Museum; to the floating gardens of Xochimilco; around Mexico City and to the Anthropology Museum.
Having performed distinguished services to the industry and the association, the two new Honorary Members, E.R. Butch Graham (Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers) and Gus Meijer (formerly with CRC-Evans) were honored and presented with their certificates at the Final Banquet.